Buckle up for quite the golf ride at Falcon Ridge Golf Course in Mesquite, Nevada

By Bill Bowman, Contributor

MESQUITE, Nev. -- Get ready for the roller coaster ride of a lifetime -- golf-course style. Falcon Ridge Golf Course, an hour's drive north of Las Vegas, opened in 2004. It's a thrill-a-minute layout that players won't soon forget.

18 Holes | Public/Resort | Par: 71 | 6546 yards
Falcon Ridge G.C. in Mesquite - No. 12
Two fairway bunkers provide danger on the 525-yard, par-5 12th hole at Falcon Ridge G.C. in Mesquite.
Falcon Ridge G.C. in Mesquite - No. 12Falcon Ridge Golf Course in Mesquite - No. 13Falcon Ridge GC in Mesquite - No. 15Falcon Ridge Golf Course in Mesquite - No. 17

"If you enjoy beautiful settings, challenging golf holes and wonderful views, Falcon Ridge is the place you should play," said Brian Wursten, director of golf at Falcon Ridge.

The 6,550-yard, par-71 layout, designed by Kelby Hughes, fits among nine golf courses in the Golf Mesquite Nevada group. Falcon Ridge open like a typical coaster ride -- nice and smooth with a dogleg-right par-5 that lets you ease into things. It's also a great chance to pick up a birdie early in the round.

But holes like the par-3 second, playing just 144 yards, give players their first hint at the ride ahead. No. 2, tucked neatly into the base of a canyon, is all carry over a glass-like pond with a deep bunker standing guard in front of the green.

The remainder of the front nine climbs, drops and winds through canyons -- including the dramatic, par-4 sixth. Stretching to 420 yards, No. 6 plays shorter because of an elevated tee box. A deep-blue pond guards the right side and must be avoided off the tee.

The second shot plays back uphill to an elevated green guarded by bunkers to the right. It's a picture-postcard hole from the tee, but one that will require players to unleash best swings to score.

Falcon Ridge Golf Course's front nine sets the stage for a memorable ride on the back. So hang on.

At the par-4 10th, players take aim at a double fairway, dissected by a creek, far below the tee box. The second shot heads back uphill to an elevated green with a waterfall to add ambiance and test your nerves.

Fasten your seat belt. The ride is about to get even better, especially at the par-5 12th. Playing just 525 yards, its tee shot starts some 150 feet above the fairway. Be sure to avoid two fairway bunkers.

Another tip: Leave the driver in the bag. You must hit the fairway, and distance is no problem with the severe elevation drop. If you hit the fairway, the next choice arrives: Do you gamble and go for the green in two? Better have nerves of steel, as it is all carry -- about 200 yards -- over a pond to a narrow green guarded by a bunker. Good luck. You need it.

"Smart play at Falcon Ridge is a must," Wursten said. "If you're a cerebral golfer, this is definitely the golf course for you. You really have to think about every shot."

At Falcon Ridge Golf Course, players find quick, true-rolling bentgrass greens that are a joy to read and putt. You'll also find a staff ready to serve from the minute you arrive in the parking lot until the trunk lid slams after the round.

"We get a lot of repeat players," Wursten said, "and that shows that we have a really good course that players really enjoy."

Golf Mesquite Nevada

Falcon Ridge is part of the Golf Mesquite Nevada group that also includes Oasis Golf Club's Canyons course and Palmer course, CasaBlanca Golf Club, Coyote Springs Golf Club, Conestoga Golf Club and Palms Golf Club, plus Sand Hollow Resort and Coral Canyon Golf Course near St. George, Utah. It appeals to all players, with opportunities available for one-day to weeklong stay-and-play golf packages.

Scotty's Lounge

Before or after the round -- or at the turn -- check out Scotty's Lounge for tasty treats. Whether it's chicken fingers, a burger, a sandwich or just a drink, the choices and service satisfy your needs.

"And the views are great," Wursten said. "You can see the whole valley and the golf course. It's a great place to eat and relax."

Falcon Ridge Golf Course: The verdict

Falcon Ridge, voted the best golf course in Mesquite for the past two years by the residents, challenges the best players in your group but remains playable for everyone -- as long as you play from the proper set of tees.

"Falcon Ridge is a course that's set up for players to score on, but you've got to hit the ball straight," Wursten said. "There are lots of canyons and creeks and picturesque settings."

In fact, the entire golf course wanders over, around and through the hills and canyons of northwest Mesquite, offering stunning views between challenging golf shots. It's a great combination. And don't worry, your next ride will be just as exciting as this one.

Bill BowmanBill Bowman, Contributor

Bill Bowman is a Las Vegas-based writer who has more than 40 years in the sports-writing business. He's spent the past 16-plus years covering the golf scene in Vegas and has teed it up for magazine profiles with celebrities including comedian Bill Engvall, actor Jeffrey Donovan (USA's Burn Notice), ESPN personality Colin Cowherd, NASCAR's Kurt Busch, Collective Soul's Ed Roland, the Baltimore Ravens' Jonathan Ogden and many others.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Falcon Ridge vs. Wolf Creek

    Kristen wrote on: Sep 21, 2010

    I've played both and it's true that Wolf Creek is amazing. However, it's more difficult and more expensive than Falcon Ridge. I know locals who like to go out and play 9 or 18 before or after work and Falcon Ridge is their course of choice. Great track, easily accessible, and beautiful in its own right. Remember, that was a poll of residents. I think I called it the "poor man's Wolf Creek" in my own review but that doesn't really do it justice. I <3 Falcon Ridge! That said, if you only go to Mesquite once and can only play one of the two, I'd recommend Wolf Creek.


  • Wolf Creek

    Glenn Fiene wrote on: Sep 21, 2010

    I agree that Falcon Ridge is a fun track to play, especially on the back nine. The issue I have is with the claim that Falcon Ridge has been voted as the best course in Mesquite. If that is true, the ballot did not have Wolf Creek as one of the choices. Wolf Creek is, by far, the best course in Mesquite. In fact, Wolf Creek may be the best course in Nevada.